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Quick and Easy Sautéed Kale

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Growing kale in the home garden or happen to have a huge bag from the grocery store? This easy sauteed kale recipe has quickly become a favorite at our house, and it’s the perfect way to use garden fresh kale and have a tasty side dish in minutes.

Sauteed kale

Kale as a New Year’s Day Green

The traditional southern New Year’s Day fare is black eyed peas and collard greens, if you happen to like them. My husband doesn’t love collards and neither do the kids. (Although my Balsamic Bacon Collards did win over the hubs.)But what if you don’t enjoy collard greens and would rather have a different green on the table? Kale is a delicious (and much quicker) substitute for collards on New Year’s Day. Kale can be cooked up in 20 minutes and is easy to grow in smaller home gardens, making it much more accessible.

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And if you need some help getting black eyed peas on the table, it just so happens that I found this great little recipe for slow cooker black eyed peas over at The Spruce Eats; it was a total winner. I love anything I can put in the slow cooker and not have to check on all day. The quick and easy sauteed kale paired perfectly with this recipe for black eyed peas, and really made our New Year’s Day meal.

This easy kale recipe is so easy and delicious; it’s always on standby as a quick side dish at our house. And if you’d like to try growing kale at home, check out my complete guide on How to Grow Kale in the Home Garden.

Easy Sautéed Kale Ingredients

  • 8-10 cups cleaned and chopped kale (you can do this yourself or buy it this way)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar (and more if you like an extra tang)
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth (more if needed)
  • Olive oil
chopped red onion, garlic, and kale on wooden cutting board
Kale and red onion with garlic and vinegar

How to Saute Kale

  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. When pan is heated, add onion. Sauté 4-5 minutes, until they begin to soften, then add garlic.
red onion and garlic sauteeing in a stainless pan

2. Once garlic becomes fragrant (be careful it doesn’t burn), add in large handfuls of chopped kale (pile it in!). Add water or chicken broth. Immediately put the lid on your kale, and in 10-20 seconds you’ll see the kale wilt significantly.

3. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top of the bright green kale and remove from heat. Add some freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately. 

Even the littlest gardeners at our house will eat this up.

And the benefits of adding kale into your diet, whether sautéed or raw, are endless. It’s even worth the occasional kale piece getting stuck in your teeth. If you love kale, then you know what I’m talking about. Enjoy this Easy Sautéed Kale recipe with just about any main dish, or add some protein to the kale and you’ll have a meal ready to go. 

white plate with black eyed peas, sautéed kale, and a roll.

Serve with your black eyed peas and ring in the New Year like a boss!

I’d love to know what you serve your kale alongside, or what you plan to eat more of in the new year! Happy Gardening!

More Fresh Kale Recipes

Yield: 4 servings

Quick and Easy Sautéed Kale

Quick and Easy Sautéed Kale

From garden to table, this quick and easy sautéed kale recipe is the perfect side dish. And it's ready in 10 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8-10 cups cleaned and chopped kale (you can do this yourself or buy it this way)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar (and more if you like an extra tang)
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth (more if needed)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

    1. Heat large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. When pan is heated, add onion. Sauté 4-5 minutes, until they begin to soften, then add garlic.
    2. Once garlic becomes fragrant (be careful it doesn’t burn), add in large handfuls of chopped kale (pile it in!) and then water or chicken broth. Immediately put the lid on your kale, and in 10-20 seconds you’ll see the kale wilt significantly.
    3. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top of the bright green kale and remove from heat. Add some freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes

Always wash kale before using. If home grown, be sure to double or triple wash to get all of the soil and sand off of the leaves.

Remove the rib of the kale with a sharp paring knife before sauteing.

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